New Cabinets for Under $1,000

So, you’re redecorating your kitchen - your budget is low, your expectations are high and your cabinets are ugly.  If they’re too far gone to simply paint and the door styles need serious updating, consider replacing the doors themselves, including dated drawer fronts.

It takes four do-it-yourself steps for this big design do-over and is not a difficult project if you have basic carpentry skills:

  • Removing cabinet doors and drawer fronts and measure.
  • Resurfacing cabinet sides with hardwood or veneered plywood matching your new doors and drawers.
  • Prepping face frames and applying peel and stick wood veneer that wraps around the front and edges.
  • Installing the new door and drawer fronts.

But wait, where do the new doors come from?  There are several companies that specialize in customizing these pieces to your specifications, and other companies that provide standard sizes in a variety of styles and finishes.  The customizing companies can provide the matching veneer to reface the remaining pieces of cabinet to match the doors you purchase.

Choosing the Cabinet Door

There are several styles available:

  • Flat fronts – usually the least expensive option, but it can be a chic budget look for a modern or contemporary kitchen
  • Raised or recessed panel doors – elegance for traditional kitchens, along with every other style
  • Beadboard – A casual look for country, cottage, rustic and Victorian kitchens
  • Glass front – Display your dishes and open up the kitchen, it’s a great look for any style.

Wood is the most widely used, with Oak, Maple, Hickory, Pine, Cherry and Poplar options.  The easiest option is to choose the wood of your current cabinet.  For a complete makeover, choose a different wood, and a matching veneer for the remaining cabinet parts.

Replace the door hardware as well, not only the knobs, but the hinges.  There are two types, the kind you can see, which are traditional, and the kind you can’t see, which are termed concealed.  Usually the type of hinge depends on the style of door that you chose.


Tips for measuring properly to order doors:

  • Measure twice – it’s easy to make a mistake when measuring, double check each measurement.
  • If you’re ordering the same size and shape doors as your old ones, use the door measurements themselves.
  • Typically, doors cover not only the cabinet opening itself, but an additional ½ inch overlay all around.
  • Measurements are listed by width, then height.  You will not be able to simply turn the door around, as the wood grain won’t look right, so make sure your measurements are in the right order.

If your kitchen cabinets are sound, but ugly, consider refacing cabinets and replacing doors, it’s a viable decision when redecorating your kitchen, you can expect to spend $75 - $300 per cabinet, but compared to purchasing new kitchen cabinets, that cost will look pretty good.